Home » The Water Cooler – New Law Allows Employees To Ignore Work Messages After Hours

The Water Cooler – New Law Allows Employees To Ignore Work Messages After Hours


The “Water Cooler” is a feature on Claycord.com where we ask you a question or provide a topic, and you talk about it.

The “Water Cooler” will be up Monday-Friday in the noon hour.

Australia introduced the ‘Right To Disconnect’ for workers law this week. If the legislation passes, workers will be able to completely ignore any communication from their employer during off-work hours.


QUESTION: In your opinion, is this good or bad? And do you think this will make its way to America?

Talk about it.


Paul February 9, 2024 - 12:13 PM - 12:13 PM

Yes it is good. Unless I am on call, I shut off my work phone after work hours.

S February 9, 2024 - 12:18 PM - 12:18 PM

Don’t call me; I won’t call you

Original G February 9, 2024 - 12:35 PM - 12:35 PM

IF an employer wants on call employees they pay up for it.
Was on call, there was a minimum four hours at time and a half for call outs, even if it only took 20 minutes to fix problem. That kind of leverage comes with having unique knowledge of equipment and being in a strong Union.
The greater your skills set the greater your leverage.

Exit 12A February 9, 2024 - 4:00 PM - 4:00 PM

I don’t need a law to allow me to ignore work-related calls after work hours.

redrazor February 9, 2024 - 4:17 PM - 4:17 PM

OG: ….. you sound like an ex-PG&E employee …. like me.

Original G February 9, 2024 - 8:56 PM - 8:56 PM

Retired steel mill industrial electrician.
They provided engineers and bosses for my entertainment.
As long as their ideas didn’t hurt anyone, break things or cost
us prime product we let them learn on the job.
Over the years had privilege of working with some very gifted
bosses and engineers. Loved going to work.

Well Folks February 10, 2024 - 9:36 AM - 9:36 AM

The 2 keys to your statement is “on call pay” and “strong union”. Sadly some employers don’t “pay” and if they are non-union you can be fired for non-response. And that is why I never work for anything non-union.

domo February 9, 2024 - 12:36 PM - 12:36 PM

Probably a good thing – but I can see who would keep their job when it’s time for downsizing vs. who would be on the list to go ….saw it happen for years in telecom

Kentucky Derby February 9, 2024 - 12:41 PM - 12:41 PM

They don’t need a law. If you’re off work, you have no obligation to pay attention to anything work related, unless you have an on-call job. Just ignore the call, email, text, etc. All you have to say is I never saw it.

concord grape February 9, 2024 - 1:08 PM - 1:08 PM

So much for this counties’ work ethic.

bob February 9, 2024 - 1:20 PM - 1:20 PM

Works Both ways…If you care about your Job, employer… or if you care about your employee..

Lazy K February 9, 2024 - 1:32 PM - 1:32 PM

We had bosses and chiefs that wanted us to pick up every time they either called or even emailed.
Imagine my surprise as I was newly promoted and off on vacation cruising to Alaska and my employer forwarded me a bill for using my phone while out of the area.
I was not happy and lighter in the wallet after they deducted the fee out of my next paycheck.
I learned my lesson.

Concordejet February 9, 2024 - 1:38 PM - 1:38 PM

No I disagree with that law because for instant if you’re a substitute doesn’t matter what kind of substitute you are substitute teacher substitute etcs. Did that mean substitute are going to be allowed to ignore calls? I say no way because this would be bad for the substitutes got the same methadone called job. I believe that substitutes play an important roles of being able to take over for regular employees. If the company government or nonprofit cannot find anyone to take their place the next question is what are you going to do to find somebody to replace that person?

I was an on-call substitute for a while I did not have any problem anyone calling me to come in for the last minute.

Chuq February 9, 2024 - 1:38 PM - 1:38 PM

It’s so easy to schedule an email to arrive the next day, I don’t know why more people don’t do use that function.

Old Otis February 9, 2024 - 3:38 PM - 3:38 PM

If you are off duty, NOT on call, tell them you have been drinking.
Shuts them up every time.
I was a HAZ MAT Driver for many years.

Throw The Book... February 9, 2024 - 4:20 PM - 4:20 PM

Does that go for on-call doctors? So if Kaiser Hospital calls you to come in to do some surgery, does that mean you can ignore their call/page to you?

Well Folks February 10, 2024 - 9:39 AM - 9:39 AM

Kaiser doctors have “on call pay” written into their contracts. So they are paid to sit and wait and get even more pay when called in

Badge1104 February 9, 2024 - 5:28 PM - 5:28 PM

I like it! Unless you’re officially on call, you to be getting no calls at home. My company is always calling me at home day and night even though for the most trivial things. And it’s burning me out! Started turning my phone off at night but then the next day they wonder why they can’t get a hold of you. I think people have really become neurotic nowadays!

Rollo Tomasi February 9, 2024 - 6:00 PM - 6:00 PM

If your compensation is based on commissions or profit sharing, you ignore work related messages at your own peril.

The Fearless Spectator February 9, 2024 - 7:23 PM - 7:23 PM

Absolutely. At a certain income threshold all hours become work hours. Making such a commitment for just a few years might fully fund your early retirement and your grandchildren’s college. Few people get such an opportunity so if you do, grab it.

Reasonable February 10, 2024 - 7:20 AM - 7:20 AM

Wise comments. Absolutely spot on.

Atticus Thraxx February 9, 2024 - 8:44 PM - 8:44 PM

Sometimes you gotta put a little more in than you’ll be rewarded or even recognized for. It’s a mindset. In a little early, stay a little late, and own your work.

Original G February 9, 2024 - 9:08 PM - 9:08 PM

People don’t quit jobs
they quit bosses

Chester E. Kitty February 10, 2024 - 6:46 AM - 6:46 AM

I’m confused … if I’m off the clock and not getting paid and I’m busy or tired, I don’t answer work calls after hours. I have been doing this for years and never had an issue. When I was a salaried employee and it was after hours, but yet I just didn’t feel like working, I would not take any calls either. Still never had an issue. People think that their place of work will not run without them being on call 24/7. Let me assure you … it WILL continue to run and EVERYONE is easily dispensable!

Ape February 10, 2024 - 11:17 AM - 11:17 AM

Unless you took an on call position you should not harass employees on their one or two days off.

Cowellian February 10, 2024 - 11:50 AM - 11:50 AM

My former boss kept asking for my cell phone number, and I always said if they gave me a cell phone, they would know the number.

ON DA February 11, 2024 - 12:03 AM - 12:03 AM

Where is Australia ???

Comments are closed.



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